Blogging Woolf’s first regular blogger from the other side of the pond is now on board. Just out of her Charleston internship, Zoe Wolstenholme will contribute posts that add an emphasis on the visual arts of the Bloomsbury group — and will link them to the natural world, with an emphasis on gardens.
From North Yorkshire in England, Zoe studied English Literature at the University of Exeter, writing her dissertation on The Room of One’s Own: Interiority in Virginia Woolf’s short fiction and Post-Impressionist Art. Here she examined the relationship between Woolf’s writing and the painting styles of French and British Post-Impressionist artists exploring the room as a metaphor for the mind. Zoe went on to study for an MA in Art Museum and Gallery Studies before being awarded a curatorial traineeship with The Charleston Trust in 2015.
Charleston House, dubbed “Bloomsbury in Sussex,” was the home of artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, found for them by Bell’s sister Virginia Woolf while she was walking across the South Downs from her own country house at the time, Asheham. Today The Charleston Trust cares for and preserves Charleston House and its collection of art works both collected and executed by Bell and Grant.
At Charleston, Zoe worked on The Angelica Garnett Gift, a donation of 8,000 works of art by Bell, Grant and other members of the Bloomsbury group. Here she photographed, catalogued and researched these unseen works publishing these findings on The Charleston Attic. As part of this traineeship Zoe also wrote an extended research paper on the Angelica Garnet Gift titled Dressing Modern Identity, which examined the overlooked importance of dress to Bell and Grant’s personal and artistic lives. This article will be published in the next edition of Clothing Cultures, which is available to read online.
Zoe is now working at The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London. Here she hopes to pursue her interest in art and the environment, which was the topic of her MA dissertation Art Spaces for Ecological Well-being. This piece examined how art has the potential to influence our relationship with the natural world. By working with the botanical art and other collections at Kew, Zoe hopes to be a part of inspiring people to care for the natural world.
Through writing for Blogging Woolf Zoe also hopes to continue her research into Woolf’s work and her circle, the Bloomsbury group.
Look for Zoe’s first post — “What Woolf wore”– tomorrow.